Studies show that social isolation is a key factor in the increase of mental health illness and can lead to ongoing health and wellbeing issues.
Gold Coast local Jo Corfield has been accessing the services of non-profit organisation Liberty Community Connect since she lost her husband back in 2011.
“Liberty has saved my life by providing me with the companionship needed. I went through depression because all of sudden I had nobody and I couldn’t get out and about. Liberty gave me that chance to be a part of the community again and enjoy life. It has made such a difference in my life,” Ms Corfield said.
“The staff and volunteers here are so good to us, I’ve been so blessed. Some of us can’t afford public transport or are able to get onto normal buses. Having the disability friendly bus with Liberty Community Connect makes such a difference.”
Covering the entire Gold Coast region, Liberty provides a door-to-door service that collects clients and then drops them home later that day. The centre provides morning tea, lunch, engaging programs, activities and entertainment.
According to Liberty Services Manager Cathy McCann, Liberty is currently at 104% of their capacity and was in need of adequate transport to meet the needs of its rapidly increasing client base.
“The ETC Community Support Fund provided $15,000 towards the purchase of a new van with wheelchair accessibility modifications to transport our clients to appointments and programs,” Ms McCann said.
“The provision of transport is one of the key areas of our service as it removes a significant barrier to social connectedness and in turn empowers the choices and opportunities of people who are disabled or elderly.
In our new bus, our clients are able to stay within their wheelchair while travelling. It’s important that people with disability feel confident to go up in the hoist and be transported safely. The new bus is totally fitted out with everything we need.”
To find out more about Liberty Community Connect contact (07) 5578 1668 or visit libertycommunity.org.au
ETC’s Deputy Chair Lorraine Penn said it was a pleasure to be able to support Liberty Community Connect.
“The ETC Community Support Fund is designed to help organisations reduce disadvantage, generate opportunity, increase support services and/or build capacity in the communities in which we operate,” Ms Penn said.
“ETC is proud to be a not-for-profit company and we are confident the money we are donating will help make a more positive future for our community.”
ETC provides employment and training services on the Gold Coast. If you need help finding a job, are looking for staff or are interested in up-skilling, contact ETC on 1800 007 400 or visit www.etcltd.com.au.